It’s the time of the year when we all gather around the table to share our lives with friends and family.

It’s also the time we notice how badly we need new dining room table and chairs whether it is in the formal dining room or the kitchen.

Hard to say which shows the most wear and tear, the table or the chairs. It always seems to me that they both become unacceptable at the same time. Perhaps we’re tired of the look, the style or the color. Whatever the reason, they just won’t cut it for another holiday season.

This time before you plunk down thousands of dollars for a new table and chairs, think about all the issue you had with the old set. Is it too small of your family gatherings? Were you always setting up a card table in the living room and hoping that there would be enough kids in attendance that you wouldn’t have to stick one or two adults at the kids’ table?

Or is your current table too large for your dining room 90% of the time, making the room overcrowded and too difficult to maneuver? How about the chairs? Do they fit easily around your table and do they slide in and out without making two or three people move so someone can go for seconds are turn off the stove?

It’s a numbers game with it come to dining room furnishings. Table size and shape need to be your first consideration. If you have a small, square dining room don’t fall in love with a rectangle harvest table when a round one will fit beautifully. A minimum of 36” from the table edge to the wall is necessary for a chair to be pulled out and for a guest to be seated.


Round Table · Restoration Hardware

The beauty of a round table is your ability to host odd numbers of guests. Depending on the size 3-9 people fit just as nicely as 4-10. The negative, most round tables do not expand. If they do they become an oval not a round. A 54” round table seats six people, a 60” can accommodate eight and a 72” has room for ten guests.

A rectangular shaped table with an expansion leaf offers the most versatility but still requires the same amount of seating space on each side. A 30” x 72” table seats six guests. A 24” expansion leaf allows for 2 additional guests. Your dining room needs to be a minimum of 8.6’ x 14’ to be large enough for a table of this size.


Campania Collection from Bernhardt Furniture.

There’s a wide-range of seating options. The last thing you want to do is by a set of 6 or 8 matching dining room chairs. Diversify. Consider purchasing 3 or 4 matching chairs for one side of your table and a long bench or settee for the other. Borrow from other rooms. If you have two matching upholstered chairs in your living room they might work great as His and Her captain chairs in the dining room.

The most appealing seating arrangements are those that employ a nice variety of options. Exposed wood mixed with upholstered chairs, acrylics with metal. To make it work, the fabrics need to coordinate, the scale of the chairs should be analogous, and the seat heights consistent. The normal height of a dining chair seat is between 16” – 17” for a table that is 28” – 30” tall.


Marquesa Collection from Bernhardt Furniture.

Size and style are important but don’t overlook the comfort factor. No one wants to sit in a wobbly straight back chair with their chin almost at table level. Never forget the true magic of any get together is always the boundless conversations around the table after the meal is over and the second glass of wine has been poured.

Round Table
Restoration Hardware
WYETH SPLIT BAMBOO FLOATING ROUND DINING TABLE
Product info: Designed by modern visionary John Birch, our striking collection showcases carbonized split bamboo, a richly nuanced material of extraordinary visual depth. Inspired by elements of African tribal design, the silhouettes are imbued with a sense of understated, quiet luxury. The organic bamboo surface, whose darker tones are offset by warm highlights, pairs with textured, complementary stained oak veneers.

Table with Bench
Campania Collection from Bernhardt Furniture.

Rectangular Table
Marquesa Collection from Bernhardt Furniture.